hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. japan's prime minister shinzo abe is getting ready to reshuffle his cabinet and ten new ministers are expected to come in. the minister in charge of revitalization is expected to be the secretary-general of the main governing liberal democratic party. he helped build a consensus on the decision to collective self-defense. the reduction minister is
expected to be takwasta. he's a younger brother of the late prime minister. the next justice minister is expected to be a woman who served as senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry since september 2013. the economy, trade and industry minister is expected to be obichi. she's the daughter of the former prime minister. the next communications minister is expected to be sanai, whose worked on key policies, including raising the con supgs tax. the health labor and well fare minister served as chief cabinet secretary during abe's first term as prime minister and has abe's close aide. the science and technology policy minister is expected to
be yamaguchi. he is senior vice minister for finance. the next defense minister is expected to be eto. he is also expected to serve as minister in charge of security legislation and will work on legal revisions related to collective self-defense. the next agricultural forestry and fisheries minister is expected to be niskawa. he has the transpacific partnership free trade organizations. the abduction issue minister is going to be the chairperson of the ldp's policy board in the upper house. and she's been actively engaged with the issue of the abductions of japanese nationals by north korea. the official announcement of new cabinet leaders will be later on wednesday. michael ambe was here to help us
understand the timing and reasoning behind this cabinet reshuffle. >> abe says the current cabinet lineup has helped achieve results, but wants the team to launch the second chapter of his administration. abe is facing a number of challenges. he says he wants to work on national security and regional revitalization. so he's creating new cabinet positions. on top of that, there is a unified local election next spring. this is an opportunity for abe's liberal democratic party to expand its influence. the reshuffle is also a way for the prime minister to foster party unity. it gives other ldp members a chance to enter the cabinet and helps abe maintain broad support. that support will come in handy next fall during the ldp leadership election. abe needs to stay in charge of the party if he wants to keep his job as prime minister. >> well, this is the first
reshuffle since abe launched his government in 2012. how will the reshuffle play out? >> abe made it clear he was going to keep some ministers in their positions. for example, aso will stay on as deputy prime minister and finance minister. but abe spent more time figuring out what to do with ldp secretary general. he was abe's biggest rival a couple of years ago during the last ldp leadership race. the secretary general is the backbone of the party. and he is an influential politician. he wanted to stay on, but abe wanted to replace him so abe is offering a cabinet post and ishiba is taking it. japanese voters are also interested in the new cabinet positions abe has created. one is dedicated to drawing up legislation to allow japan to exercise the right to collective
self-defense or the right to defend a closely related country under attack. the other is designed to help the government deal with the rapid population decline in rural areas. and abe is trying to back up his words with action on the role of women in society. he says he wants women to occupy about 30% of senior positions by 2020. whatever the case, we'll get the full picture soon. police in hong kong are cracking down on pro-democracy activists. 22 people were arrested after protesting china's refusal to allow the region's citizens to freely choose their next leader. activists staged demonstrations near a hotel where a senior chinese official was staying. police officers arrested 19 people on suspicion of illegal assembly.
they were later released. and three activists who were protesting a briefing with the chinese official were also detained. the 2017 election is meant to be the first in which voters choose the hong kong chief executive. but china's legislature decided that candidates for the post must be approved by a nominating panel. the ruling makes it almost impossible for an opposition candidate to be on the ballot. activists are calling for a boycott of classes at colleges and vocational schools starting later this month and planning a sit-in of more than 10,000 people in the central business district. philippine authorities have detained three men suspected of planning bomb attacks. local officials expect the motive was territorial it disputes over islands in the south china sea.
the national bureau of investigation detained the three suspects for possession of explosive in a car near the airport. nbi officials said the suspects claimed to be members of an ultra rightist group. the officials said the suspects had a written statement saying the group opposes chinese moves. that threaten the sovereignty of the philippines. the statement reportedly criticized china's actions in the territorial disputes as well as the philadelphia government's handling of the sovereignty issue. residents of the gaza strip are trying to pick up the pieces of their homes. they're marking a week since leaders for israel and hamas agreed to an unlimited cease-fire. but members of an international organization assessing the damage say reconstruction will take 20 years. workers for shelter cluster are in the territory with the refugee agency and the red cross. they say more than 20,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged in the 50-day-long fighting, and palestinian officials estimate rebuilding
could cost $3.6 billion. residents are trying to get back to the way things were. some are realizing the extent of the damage after thousands of israeli air strikes. >> translator: rebuilding hasn't started yet, and i'm not expecting it will. houses destroyed in the 2008 conflict are still left untouched. >> the cease-fire agreement calls on israel to ease sanctions and allow building materials into gaza, including cement and steel. but nhk crews there say no such goods have been brought in so far. let's check on the markets and the latest trading on wall street. stanley sun, the strategist from
nomura securities has the details. >> both the stock market and the bond market here in the u.s. were very active on the first trading day of september. there's a little bit of a divergence in the sector stocks with energy companies down on the back of the drop in crude oil while financials and technology companies actually saw gains. the divergence can be also observed in the major indices with the dow down by about 30 points and s&p 500 down just slightly and the nasdaq actually up by almost 18 points. the economic data we got this morning was also positive. with construction spending increasing 1.8% in july versus the consensus expectation of 1%. ism manufacturing also improved to 59 in august versus 57 in july. this was another solid report for u.s. manufacturing and suggests a solid third quarter growth.
likely as a result we saw u.s. bond market under a little bit of pressure today. with ten year yields closing the day around 2.42%. september is also typically a very active month for corporate supply which could continue to put pressure on u.s. yields in the shorter term. for the remainder of the week, all eyes will be on the u.s. job number as well as ecb on thursday. so we expect more volatility in both u.s. rates and u.s. stocks. this is stanley sun with nomura securities in new york. >> now an overview of some of the global markets. >> now, an overview of the markets.
indian media have reacted positively to japan's offer to boost investment in south asia's largest economy. we are following the story. >> japanese prime minister shinzo abe conveyed the plan during a summit with his counterpart norendra modi in tokyo on monday. modi chose japan for his first overseas visit outside of his home region since becoming prime minister in may. the two leaders signed a joint statement after their summit. the document included japan's pledge to double direct investment and also double the number of japanese companies doing business in india over the
next five years. indian newspapers on tuesday reported the japan/india summit on their front pages. they welcome japan's plan to provide $36 billion in loans and investments. the times of india said in an editorial, it would galvanize the indian economy and get its growth engines revving again. the paper also supported japan's offer to provide financial assistance and technical know-how for a high-speed rail network. but on energy issues, reaction was mixed. india suffers from chronic power shortages. abe and modi were expected to sign a nuclear pact to allow japan to export nuclear power. their promise to accelerate negotiations on the pact left some papers disappointed. abe and modi did agree to work closely to maintain regional security. one newspaper headline referred to china's growing presence in an article headlined "sitting down with japan, standing up to
china." companies from all over asia are tuned in to myanmar and its 50 million potential consumers. a tv shopping program showcasing japanese goods has taken to the air, but firms from other countries were already switched on. >> reporter: "japan select shopping" is a weekly tv program that promotes japanese products to people in myanmar. the show is filmed inside a japanese restaurant to create the right mood. hiyasha is the reins behind the project. he has been living in myanmar
for two years and sees great potential. >> translator: i think myanmar is quickly changing. a considerable number of people in the country seem to belong to the middle class. i want to present japanese products to help people better understand how different they are from products made in other countries. >> reporter: three years after myanmar shifted from italy to civilian law, the economy is growing more than 6% a year. the capital now has several large shopping malls. there are plenty of foreign made products from countries like south korea and china but not many from japan. south korean and chinese tv shopping programs have been running for more than a year. >> translator: i often buy chinese products. i like them because they aren't expensive.
>> translator: japanese products are good, but ordinary people can't afford them. >> reporter: hayashi believes demand for japanese products will increase as people earn more money. he bought a time slot from a local television station and solicited japanese companies for products to feature. a set of shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryer made by a major japanese firm is one of the promotions during this episode. this man works for a private firm and makes about $400 a month, putting him in myanmar's middle class. he couldn't find anything to buy this time but says he'd watch again. >> translator: many of the products are for women. i hope they'll offer things like digital cameras and cell phones. >> translator: tv marketing makes it possible to observe consumer reactions in realtime. studying that data can help shape sales strategies so it
should become an extremely profitable business. >> reporter: attention is focused on whether the new tv shopping program can help japanese firms to catch up with south korean and chinese competitors, boosting sales in myanmar. toshiaki watanuke, nhk world. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. one of japan's professional soccer teams began offering its fans seminars about human rights. this follows a racist taunt by one of the club's supporters at a game last month. during the game, a teenager waved a banana at a brazilian player. they were fined about $50,000
for not raising awareness for racist behavior. about 50 supporters attended a seminar held in yokohama city. they were taught about the league's stance on racism. participants discussed how they should behave towards players. >> translator: we want to hold regular seminars and spread this activity among the fans. >> it's the first time a j-league soccer league has educated its supporters about human rights. officials with the japan als association say the ice bucket challenge has so far collected more than $250,000 domestically. the challenge began a few months ago to raise money and awareness for the disease. it has since become a global internet phenomenon. participants have a choice in
the challenge. they can pour a bucket of ice water over themselves, make a donation to an als support group, or both. they then challenge three other people to do the same. the donations are going into research to find a cure for the disease and develop equipment to help people afflicted with als. officials with the japanese association say the amount of donations raised during two weeks in august was more than four times the amount collected in a year. an official says he is happy about the growing awareness of the disease, but he says the campaign has also been criticized as a publicity stunt. people who accept the challenge are being asked not to pressure others to make donations. investigators in taiwan are looking into explosions that sent fireballs into the sky. they believe a leak from a faulty industrial pipe one month ago caused the blast. and they've discovered that maintenance was poor or
non-existent. >> reporter: this man lost his father in the explosion. the 59-year-old had been a local government leader for many years. he was helping firefighters investigate a strange smell. >> translator: my father strongly believed he had to work for others. i hope that any problem areas will be re-examined and steps taken to prevent similar accidents. >> reporter: the explosion destroyed the roads and buildings. they discovered that maintenance was poor or nonexistent. it killed 300 people. more than 300 were injured. many want to know why the pipeline was there. kaohsiung has a population of 2.8 million people. it is an industrial city and one of taiwan's largest container
ports. since the 1970s, many petrochemical companies have built their plants here. the pipeline is about 20 kilometers long. it was installed more than 20 years ago linking the port with an industrial zone. it transported propane which it used to make plastics. as the city grew, people built houses and shops above it. bereaved families and residents say they feel betrayed. they say no one told them anything about the pipe. this woman is among them. her father was a taxi driver. he died in the explosion. >> translator: people's lives have been completely
disregarded. tens of thousands of people use this street every day. but how were we to know such a dangerous pipe was just underneath us? >> reporter: investigators think the gas leak was caused by corrosion. they have also uncovered poor maintenance and found the city never checked the pipe after permitting its construction. the companies involved have been making contradictory statements. some people criticize the authorities. emergency services were there within three hours of the reports of a strange odor and the explosion. >> translator: if the authorities and corporations had recognized it was a gas leak and acted immediately, this devastation could have been avoided. there were many organizations involved, but there was no cooperation among them.
we must establish a special body to collectively manage these facilities. >> reporter: in the wake of the disaster, the government says it will inspect underground pipes across the island. but some want the authorities to do more and for companies to take responsibility, too. norioko tajima, nhk world. people in central japan have been trying to understand a scientific oddity. snow that appeared in february looked blue. they turned to a device commonly
used to create summer treats. >> reporter: here are pictures of the blue snow. the caved-in part of the freshly fallen snow is glowing blue. it became a hot topic on the internet. why would white snow look blue? researchers at the snow and ice research center are conducting experiments to find out. the head researcher kamaiishi has been studying snow for more than 30 years, even for him seeing blue snow was a first. >> translator: i hope to go as far as we can to solve the mystery of this unique phenomenon. >> kamiishi has been focusing on snow crystals. when he analyzed february's snow, he found it consisted of mainly column shaped crystals.
scientists believe in general snow crystals take the dendrite form at altitudes of about 4,000 meters. but they take the column form at altitudes of 8,000 meters where the temperature is low with less water vapor. kamiishi thought of replicating the column shaped snow crystals with ice. he turned to a machine used to make a shaved ice refreshment popular during the hot summer. a staff member shaves a block of ice and observes the ice flakes under a microscope. dendrites branch out, but the ice flakes made with the ice shaving device are shaped more like columns. immediately they try to illuminate the shaved ice to see whether or not it glows blue. the outdoor temperature is more than 30 degrees celsius, but
inside the research lab the temperature is kept at freezing. a researcher lights the snow with sunlight using a mirror so it won't melt. >> it looks blue. >> they have succeeded in re-creating the blue glow. they think the piles of column shaped snow crystals barely absorb the blue end of the spectrum, instead, they reflect it so it glows blue. kamiishi has also been researching the relationship between blue snow and avalanches. the snowstorms in february caused many avalanches at locations where they don't normally strike such as hills covered with trees. normal snow can form piles on
slopes up to an angle of 60 degrees. but the shaved ice can't form piles unless the slope is less than 40 degrees. kamiishi concludes that blue snow can easily cause avalanches because its crystals don't have complex shapes and they don't bond so strongly. >> translator: there's still much we don't know. i'd like to learn more to reduce snow-related accidents. >> kamiishi will attempt to make increasingly more realistic replications of the blue snow to find out more about this unusual phenomenon. here's the world weather forecast.
tokyo station on a friday night just past 9:00 p.m. amidst all the office workers heading home we find a stream of others clearly setting out on a journey of some sort. [ speaking foreign language ]. they all have the same main destination. with its many shrines, izumo is the gathering place of the gods.